“This trail meanders through lush flora before reaching the ridge and continuing towards the AT.
— Max Willner
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Great Smoky Mountain National Park closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here
All campsites must be registered with the park. Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here
Starting at the Cosby Campground, this trail snakes along 5.4 miles on its way to the Appalachian Trail.
Shortly into this trail, hikers will find a junction that connects the Low Gap Trail
and Lower Mount Cammerer Trail
. Not even a mile in, there's a small graveyard from the early 1900s.
At 1.8 miles in, there's a stream crossing at Inadu Creek (with Inadu Mountain nearby, at 5,177'). The vegetation gets a bit thicker around here. From there, the trail begins to gain in elevation a bit more as it works along the ridge, at times offering a nice view of the surrounding area.
At around 4.2 miles, the trail opens up into a more open area (around Snake Den Mountain) and comes to a connection with Maddron Bald Trail
. HikerS can opt to continue onto Maddron Bald Trail
for about 1.5 miles to reach Campsite #29 (Otter Creek). Continuing along Snake Den Ridge Trail, hikers will eventually reach the Appalachian Trail. From there, they can turn right towards Mt. Guyot or left towards Low Gap.
Flora & Fauna
The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit the park's website
As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus). For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage